Musings of a Sidewalk Explorer: Woodpeckers

Ms. Patti, one of our educators who has been teaching preschool and kindergarten aged children at Moose Hill for 25 years, continues her daily walks around her neighborhood and shares what she sees and a few fun activities and resources for you.

The woodpeckers in my neighborhood are announcing themselves to anyone willing to listen by pounding their heads against anything that will produce noise. Some birds have found creative places to drum, as the louder the drumming the more likely to attract a mate or maintain a territory. I actually saw one bird drumming on a chimney cap…it was loud and I can only imagine what it sounded like inside the house. Other possible drumming sites are hollow trees, gutters, transformer boxes, trash cans, siding of homes, phone poles, and tree stumps; basically anything that resonates sound. Find out more about woodpeckers in Massachusetts and what to do if one decides to drum on your house

I then wondered how woodpeckers could continually bang their heads against a hard surface and not become impaired. Turns out nature took care of that with adaptations to protect them: built-in shock absorbers, the actual structure of their skull and beak redirects pressure away from its head, and perhaps my favorite, it can wrap its tongue around its head (internally) to help cushion the blows. Find out more about how woodpeckers can drum without getting brain damage

Have some woodpecker fun: 

How many knock, knock jokes you can tell? 

How many “W” words can you work into a sentence? Here’s my best attempt: “The white woodpecker wilted while waiting for winter to wane.” 

Make a cool woodpecker that moves up and down a string like a real one working a tree. 

Fold an origami woodpecker

Send us your best attempts at woodpecker fun on Facebook or Instagram! 

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